Who will this change impact?
There are three categories of individuals that are impacted by the updates to Employment Authorization Document (“EAD”) validity periods.
Category one individuals are those who:
- Have been admitted as refugees;
- Have been granted asylum;
- Have been granted a withholding of deportation or removal;
- Have pending applications for asylum or for withholding of removal; or
- Have pending applications for adjustment of status.
Category two individuals are those who:
- Have pending applications for suspension of deportation or for cancellation of removal.
Category three individuals are those who:
- Were paroled as refugees.
What is the policy change?
Individuals in category one were previously issued EADs with validity periods of 2 years. Now, those individuals will be issued EADs with validity periods of 5 years.
Individuals in categories two and three were previously issued EADs with validity periods of 1 year. Now, individuals in category two will be issued EADs with validity periods of 5 years, and individuals in category three will be issued EADs that expire on the end date of the authorized parole period, which cannot exceed 5 years.
Why did the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”) decide to do this?
USCIS implemented a Request for Public Input (“RPI”) based on President Biden’s Executive Order 14012, ‘‘Restoring Faith in Our Legal Immigration Systems and Strengthening Integration and Inclusion Efforts for New Americans.’’ Specifically, the Department of Homeland Security (“DHS”) was seeking comments from the public related to how USCIS could reduce administrative and other barriers within its regulations and policies, including those that prevent foreign citizens from easily obtaining access to immigration services and benefits.
The RPI feedback suggested increasing maximum EAD validity period guidelines, which is a step that USCIS evaluated and is now taking.
What are the implications of this for foreign citizens?
The increase in EAD validity periods will reduce the frequency with which impacted individuals must file an Application for Employment Authorization, Form I-765, with USCIS. It will also reduce the burden on both USCIS and the public and may reduce processing times for individuals that file Form I-765 in one of the above-mentioned categories.
Please don’t hesitate to contact Zulkie Partners if you have any questions related to the new policy or if you wish to file an Application for Employment Authorization.